Well, maybe not the best week, but certainly the best day of my life fell within this week. You might say what my boss said, “Rachel, that is a bold claim,” and I will tell you what I told her, “But you haven’t seen what I’m about to show you yet.”
Let’s start with Tuesday, January 22nd – the day I finally became a published author. Ok, first of all, I was a mess. I woke up around 5 AM, before my alarm clock went off, hopped out of bed, made a big pot of coffee, and turned my laptop on. Before my laptop was fully booted up, I had finished my first cup of coffee, quickly jumped up, got myself a refill, and plopped myself back down, thankful I didn’t have to impatiently stare at my computer as it warmed up (which takes, like, what, maybe one minute?). I IMMEDIATELY check my reports and find that five people (FIVE PEOPLE) have already downloaded my book. Furthermore, three of those five people bought it before the free promo kicked in and I was already almost on the floor crying because how cool is it that I made actual money off of something I created? After posting on social media, I texted all my friends. By this time, it was 6 AM. And it was not until I wrote this post that I wondered how I still have friends after texting them that early in the morning.
Between then and when I left for work at 9:30 AM, I was a ball of energy, floating between getting ready for work, texting those friends that were awake, keeping an eye on my stats, watching as my wonderful friends shared my book on social media. I found myself incredibly grateful for work, I needed that kind of distraction.
Very few people at work knew that I was self-publishing my book. I didn’t tell my coworkers on purpose, my thought process being, “if they don’t like it, I will have to see them every day and know that they have horrible taste in literature and I just don’t think I can live with that.” My boss was one of three people in the office who knew and, immediately upon seeing her for the first time Tuesday morning, she shouted, “Congratulations Author Rachel Potts!”
To which I replied without hesitation, “Thanks! The only problem is, now that I’ve achieved my only real goal in life, I guess I can just die now.”
After which, completely deadpan, she said, “You’re a psychopath.”
The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. In-between work, I probably checked my stats every hour (definitely way more than that), I made plans with friends for when I got off because I knew I shouldn’t be home alone. And then I canceled all those plans and picked up overtime hours at work because there’s nothing like working a twelve hour day to tire myself out of the frenzy I had gotten myself into.
And it worked. By the time I got off, all I wanted to do was go home, watch an episode of Supernatural, and go to bed. I was so tired that I didn’t even check my stats before I turned off the lights.
The next day, Wednesday, January 23rd I woke up less anxious than the day before. I felt calmer when I made my coffee, more patient while I waited for my computer to respond. But, like yesterday, the first thing I did was check my stats.
Unlike yesterday, however, I gasped when I saw that my book had moved up to the #9 spot in the Free Kindle: Literary Fiction category. I clicked on the listing because, naturally, I needed to see my book in a top list. I was already grinning ear-to-ear when I saw it, my book casually keeping This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald company in the #8 spot. I stopped breathing. F. Scott Fitzgerald. One of my literary heroes. My name is next to…. I took a picture, sent it to all my friends (again, at like, 6 in the morning), posted it on my social media, and then, finally taking another breath, I cried. Like, wept. All morning, all the way to work, at work when I told people about it (because I HAD to tell them now). When I showed the picture of my book next to F. Scott Fitzgerald, my boss understood why Wednesday, January 23rd and not Tuesday, January 22nd, actually was the best day of my life.
All day I received texts and messages of encouragement from family and friends and people I hadn’t spoken to in years. People sent pictures of themselves downloading/reading my book and I cried some more.
I worked another twelve hour day and, again, it kept me distracted and calm. It also exhausted me, which again was wonderful because I was easily able to fall asleep when I got home late at night.
When I woke up on Thursday, January 24th I was still exhausted. All I wanted to do was roll over and sleep for the whole day. It’s strange, I can’t imagine why I was so tired. . .
I volunteer every other Thursday morning and this was one of those Thursdays. So, I forced myself out of bed, got ready, checked my stats, and was back at it by 10 AM.
When I checked my stats that morning, I had already surpassed my goal of 50 downloads for the entire free period. It was an amazing feeling and I was so excited. Unfortunately, I was so worn out that I couldn’t express my excitement at all. I didn’t realize until that morning that I had been running off of adrenaline the last two days.
After my volunteer hours, I went to work for my eight hour shift and felt like a zombie. I had been texting a friend about my state of being that day and about my stats and he told me that I should be careful not to obsess over the numbers. I wanted to argue, but quickly realized he was right. I had been too obsessed over the numbers the last two days. I resolved not to check my stats while I was at work that day. I checked them twice. At least that was an improvement, right?
I think it goes without saying that, as soon as I got home, I crashed into my bed. The last thought in my head was, thank goodness tomorrow’s Friday.
I’m going to combine both Friday, January 25th and Saturday, January 26th because they both went by quickly and, feeling much calmer, I was able to detach myself from my computer and phone and mostly act like it was just another normal day.
Friday night after work, I went home and indulged in cake and ice cream for dinner. It was the best way I knew how to celebrate by myself, eating my two favorite foods while watching Supernatural. Don’t hate.
Saturday, I went shopping with a friend and bought a new lipstick to celebrate (which I wore to celebrate my book release with some friends on Monday, January 28th) and then my friend took me out to get champagne so we could toast to my authorness (yes, I made that word up). Later that same day, I had another friend come over and we ate pizza and drank rum and coke while we watched my favorite Hitchcock movie, Vertigo.
It was a weird way to celebrate, considering I’m usually always extra about these kinds of things. Honestly though, it was exactly what I needed and I don’t think I could have planned anything to beat it.
In total, I had 168 downloads during the free promo, well exceeding my goal. THANK YOU to everyone who downloaded, shared, texted, and told friends & family to get my book. I couldn’t have done it without you!
Just Down the Street, Across the Ocean is still available on Kindle and is listed at $2.99.